The truth is more painful than guilt
A young woman returning to her spooky old ancestral home years after a tragedy may sound like a B-movie horror plot, but this talented writer turns it into a lyrically haunting story.
It’s so atmospheric youcanpractically hear the floorboards creek and the water gurgling in the old plumbing of Arrowood, the decaying house on the banks of the Mississippi as homecomingArdenpullsthesheetsoffthe old furniture hergrand-parents left behind. Memories of the horror she has tried to escape surround her like falling dust. Arden seems to have fled Coloradoandabandonedherhistory studies for reasons other than the urge to claim her inheritance, although she needs answerstowhathappened17years ago. She was just eight and ‘in charge’ of her two-year-old twin sisters whensheleftthemonthe front lawnforaminute, only to look round and see them being driven offbyamaninacar. The girls were never found and the prime suspect was never charged. Now a true-crime writer wants to help Arden get to the truth, but that couldbeevenmorepainful thanguilt in this mesmerising tale. Review by Janet McKechnie. Which river runs past the house? Entries to Alex Gordon, Arrowood competition by August 25.